Heybridge Swifts 1 Lowestoft Town 2
Lowestoft Town moved into the next round of the F A Cup with Budweiser but they were made to battle all the way by a gallant Heybridge Swifts side.
Lowestoft recalled Greg Crane to the starting line up with Scott Mitchell returning to a midfield position. Lubo Guentchev and Adam Smith also returned to the starting line up.
Lowestoft started strongly and forced a corner in the opening minutes which saw Greg Crane send a diving header just wide from Lubo Guentchev’s flag kick. Michael Frew’s audacious lob saw keeper Jason Willis back peddling to turn the ball over the bar. Swifts’ keeper then repeated his acrobatics to turn Matt Nolan’s 20 yard drive over the bar.
Heybridge stunned the Trawlerboys by taking a 13th minute lead with virtually their first attack. Breaking quickly from defence Ricky Griggs raced away down the left and sent in a low cross which was swept into the net by Bertie Brayley. The home side should have doubled their lead with Griggs again causing the problems as he raced into the area, took the ball past Andy Reynolds but there was no one up in support as he crossed low across the face of the goal.
Despite having a lot of possession the Trawlerboys were unable to create any clear cut chances in the remainder of the first half although when Nolan put Frew away down the right Joe Francis placed his header a foot over the top.
Lowestoft came out for the second half in a more determined mood and from Andrew Cave-Brown’s cross Frew’s header hit the bar and was scrambled clear. Guentchev then crossed to the far post where the ball was headed back across the face of the goal by Frew but Nolan put his header over the top. Guentchev then created an opening for Francis but his shot was cleared off the line by defender Nathan Smith.
Lowestoft finally levelled he scores in the 61st minute. Scott Mitchell played Nolan away down the left and his cross to the far post was headed home by Guentchev from close range. Lowestoft moved ahead 9 minutes later as Cave-Brown picked out Frew who knocked the ball on to Nolan to shoot past Willis from 12 yards.
Heybridge were close to levelling the scores almost immediately as the ball fell to Brayley on the edge of the 6 yard box but his volley was held by Reynolds. Heybridge were reduced to 10 men for the final quarter of an hour when Luke Hammond received his second yellow card.
With a man advantage Lowestoft tried to play out time but almost paid the penalty in the final minutes as substitute Tom Broadhurst raced clear with a one on one with keeper Reynolds with the Town keeper coming out on top and in the final minute the ball fell to Sean Crossley’s whose curling shot grazed the angle of bar and post.